Blackwater Death Threat for US Official

The State Department official tasked with investigating Blackwater’s conduct in Iraq says a manager at the private security contractor threatened to murder him. In a newly published memo dated August 31, 2007, Jean C. Richter, the chief investigator, claimed that Daniel Carroll, a Blackwater project manager, told him “that he could kill” him and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq.” While he was in Baghdad, Richter began to find serious failings in Blackwater’s conduct, but he says the U.S. embassy stepped in to back up Blackwater and sent him back to America. Once home, he reported that Blackwater created “an environment full of liability and negligence” whose “contractors saw themselves as above the law.” Two weeks later, Blackwater agents shot dead 17 civilians, including a child, in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, a watershed shooting that has severely damaged U.S. and Iraqi relations.